Coronavirus: mask war in the Ile-de-France region

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The affair of masks in the police is now taking a political turn. At the front in the management of the coronavirus crisis, the Ministry of the Interior, very criticized by the police unions for its management deemed “disastrous” of the stock of protective masks and its instructions for draconian use, declined a donation important masks from the Île-de-France region.

According to several concordant sources, 100,000 masks were offered last week at Place Beauvau for police officers in Ile-de-France. An oral proposal that the Ministry of the Interior immediately refused, faithful to the national doctrine: priority for caregivers.

“It has been proposed by all the regional prefects to all the regional presidents that they entrust 80% of their purchases to the Regional Health Agencies (ARS) – for hospitals, clinics and nursing homes – and 20% for medicine. city ​​”, one explains to the Ministry of the Interior. For the police, the doctrine remains the same: the wearing of protective equipment only in case of suspicion of someone with Covid-19.

“The state does not want distribution to the security forces at this stage”

The ministry said that 800,000 masks have been sent and that an additional 300,000 – a donation from the Post – are being distributed. In comparison, last week between 1.3 and 1.4 million masks reached the Île-de-France region, and 5.4 million more in recent days. The initial desire of the region was to be able to give a million to the police. But they will have none.

Good student, Valérie Pécresse, the LR president of the region, backtracked, alerting all the mayors of Île de France, that she has an “urgent request from the State”. “The region has the authorization to supply you with a mask on the condition that you prioritize in your distributions the people in charge of public service mission who can put them in contact with the sick”, writes Valérie Pécresse in an SMS that we have obtained .

The owner of the region warns the elected officials: “The state does not want distribution to the security forces at this stage. I draw your attention to this point because the State could otherwise requisition the region masks and prevent us from supplying you. I count on you. “

“Blackmail at requisition by the State”

In the Les Républicains camp, not all elected officials seem as disciplined as their chief. Patrick Karam, resigning vice-president of the Ile-de-France regional council, is not fooling against this “blackmail on requisition by the State”. “It’s scandalous, the Interior Ministry leaves the police unprotected while they are on the front line. Because he was unable to anticipate, because he is unable to recover masks, the Interior Ministry wants to prevent others from getting there. “

The elected representative in charge of youth, sports and community life, presented his resignation on Wednesday to the president of the region, Valérie Pécresse in order to keep her word free, according to him. “I respect Valérie Pécresse too much to put her in trouble. It is under pressure, ”says the elected official. Contacted, Valérie Pécresse says that the region has never proposed masks to the Ministry of the Interior, even if her cabinet recognizes that the president is in favor of the police having access to “protective equipment”.

According to our information, part of the masks could be transmitted, notably through certain mayors, to the unions which have called for donations. Not sure that the Ministry of the Interior in conflict with the unions dares to exercise a requisition action…

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